Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche has confirmed he is open the idea of working with Aston Martin on future projects.
A deal to use Mercedes AMG powertrain technology had been mooted to be part of the British firm's recent £150 million deal to sell a 37.5 per cent stake to Italian venture capital company Investindustrial. Mercedes has close links to Investindustrial, dating back to when the Italians forging a link with the German giant when it owned Ducati.
Speaking at the Detroit motor show, Zetsche said no deal had been done, but added: "Aston Martin is a great brand and I must say Dr Ulrich Bez [Aston's CEO] is doing a great job with them.
"If a company that sells a few thousand vehicles wants to talk then we might do that, I am open to it. But it must not distract from our core business."
A senior Mercedes source has previously said on Investindustrial, “We know these guys. They were behind Ducati and we had a very closely knit marketing deal with them. They rang and asked if they won the bid for Aston would we be interested in being a technology partner.”
Among the components Aston Martin is rumoured to be seeking from AMG is a new V12 petrol engine to replace the ageing Ford-developed unit it currently uses. However, the proposed collaboration between AMG and Investindustrial appears to encompass a much wider brief.
“There is significant scope,” said the source. “It would be more than just drivelines. If you look at Aston products today, it is clear that they need not only new drivelines with increased performance and improved emissions but also electronic architectures.”